Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Sterling Silver & Enamel Triple
Drop Earrings
The city of Newcastle (a/k/a Newcastle upon Tyne) is one of England’s most energetic attractions.

There are plenty of sights to see that include the Central Arcade, the Millennium Bridge, and Grainger Town which is touted as the “historic heart of the city.”  England is also home to featured jewelry designer Sophie Honeybourne.

The word talent gets thrown around a lot within discussions about creative fields.

In many cases I do not always agree with media opinions that a particular actor or singer is all that talented.  In the end what one considers talent is a debatable topic as it is often defined very differently by different people.

I think talent in jewelry making has as much to do with honed technical skills as it does with an innate sense for building a design.  I also think a talented jewelry maker has a clear point of view with conceptualizations that go against the grain a bit resulting in a fresh visual language.

Honeybourne’s aesthetic is simple born from a minimal amount of materials.  However, her signature style of variegated hues of glossy hot enamels against the snowy gleam of sterling silver is alternately earthy and ethereal. 

High gloss silver pods are linked to produce glistening multi-strand necklaces, earrings and stacking rings.  In other designs the contrast of white metal and cobalt blue enamel evokes a goddess of air or water.

The Ventnor-based jeweler studied at London’s Royal College of Art while taking on an apprenticeship with renowned silversmith Chris Morphy. When Honeybourne graduated in 2003 she participated in her alma mater’s “end of year graduation” show that featured the jeweler’s twenty-five piece collection.  It is no surprise each piece sold out!
Models wear Sterling Silver & Enamel Rosie Necklace from Enamel
(right); and Oxidized Sterling Silver Multi-Strand Necklace
from Lilypad Collection (left)
Three years later Honeybourne purchased a house with a workshop and her brand Honeybourne Jewellery officially launched.  Her hometown of Ventnor would play a significant role for the brand.

“I was tempted to stay and work in London but I saw potential in starting my business in my hometown.  I still remain a part of London’s contemporary jewelry scene because it’s only three hours away.  I live in a seaside town and I love the countryside walks, sea swimming and empty coves.  This became my main source of inspiration.”

Similar to the designer’s signature enamel and sterling pod designs, Honeybourne’s Lilypad Collection highlight slightly imperfect lily pad-like forms in oxidized silver; the necklace designs which are linked by flat, bony strands of blackened silver seem to undulate like twisted vines.

“I pay close attention to patterns in nature.  Where I live lilypads cover vast areas with lush, dense blocks of pattern.  The leaf forms are dotted on the surface which emulates a grouping of lilypad leaves.  I really enjoyed working on the Lilypad Collection.

I also work with 9- and 18-karat gold and gemstones.  We presently have a new talented member to our team, Ella Baxtor.  She is creating some new designs using piercing and granulation techniques.  I am very excited about more creative creations in 2013!”

Items from Honeybourne’s buoyant Enamel and Lilypad collections are available for purchase online at Dazzle.com.
Oxidized Sterling Silver Strand Lilypad Rings
2013 Jewelry Trend Alert:   The sheen of white sterling silver, pops of bright color and floral elements round out the trends highlighted in Honeybourne’s distinctive visual language.
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